Union Sports Minister Anurag Thakur said that the Khelo India Para Games aims to provide a massive platform to para-athletes to showcase their talents and it is the vision of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to make India a sporting superpower.
He said this while inaugurating the Khelo India Para Games in New Delhi on Monday.
While talking to the media, Anurag Thakur said, “Khelo India Para Games 2023 begins today. It is PM Modi’s vision to make the country a sporting superpower where athletes perform well and have the ability to win medals and big sports events are held in India.
“We had won 19 medals in the Tokyo Paralympics (in 2021) and 100-plus medals (111 in total) in the recent Para Asian Games. To strengthen the domestic championship, Khelo India Para Games has been started. Athletics, powerlifting, archery, weightlifting, table tennis and other sports are part of Khelo India Para Games. 1,450 players will participate. It is happening for the first time ever in Indian sports. Our para-athletes used to win medals for the country in many events, but they did not have a big domestic championship where they could showcase their talents and Khelo India Para Games aims to fill this gap,” added Thakur.
The opening day of the event on Sunday witnessed a total of 66 matches being played at the Indira Gandhi Stadium.
Over 1400 participants from 32 states and Union Territories will take part in the prestigious event to be held across three venues in New Delhi from December 10 to 17.
The inaugural Khelo India Para Games are being organised at three venues – Indira Gandhi Stadium, Jawahar Lal Nehru Stadium and Karni Singh Shooting Range.
The competition will be held in seven para-sports: athletics, shooting, archery, football, badminton, table tennis and weightlifting. Some of India’s top international para stars, like Sheetal Devi, Bhavina Patel, Ashok, and Pramod Bhagat among others will participate.
After the immense success of Khelo India Youth Games and Khelo India University Games, now Khelo India Para Games is being organized and there is an atmosphere of celebration in the national capital regarding Khelo India Para Games being organized for the first time.
This week-long sports festival will be a symbol of inclusivity as well as celebrate human dignity. (ANI)